The 1988 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Public Health, stated that schools of public health were “somewhat isolated from the field of public health practice.” To help bridge this perceived gap between the academic and practice communities, the Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum was established by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1990.
The Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum's principal goals were to develop recommendations for:
- Strengthening relationships between public health academicians and public health practitioners in public agencies;
- Improving the teaching, training, and practice of public health;
- Establishing firm practice links between schools of public health and public agencies; and
- Collaborating with others in achieving the nation’s Year 2000 health objectives.
After nearly two years of deliberations and an extensive public comment period, the Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum issued a final report entitled The Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum: Linking Graduate Education and Practice. The report recommended a variety of initiatives and strategies to improve the teaching and practice of public health by building meaningful collaborative relationships. In addition, the Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum issued a list of "Universal Competencies" to help guide the education and training of public health professionals. The desire of the Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum to see its recommendations and the competencies implemented led to the formation of the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice in 1992.